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Poor Will's Almanack: May 24 - May 30, 2022

Zen
Jeff Laitila
/
Flickr Creative Commons

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack for the first week of early summer, the first week of the Hummingbird Moon, the first week of the sun in Gemini.

I was talking to my sister Roberta the other day, and she reminded me of something she had told me years ago after she took part in a zen retreat with Thich Nhat Hanh in San Francisco. To make a long story short, she shared the lines that the monks and participants often chanted as they did their chores:

"Nothing to do.

Nowhere to go.

No reason to hurry.

No reason to worry."

Since Roberta's retreat decades ago, Nothing to do has taken root in song and in the literary world of mindfulness. And the verses are especially relevant now. In these lazy but compelling days of late May, when there is so much to do and so little motivation to do it, when spring fever contradicts necessity and practicality with delicious lethargy and the ultimate fantasy of fulfillment without pain, it is tempting, at least for me, to just sit and watch the trees get leaves and repeat the monkish chant:

"Nothing to do

Nowhere to go

No reason to hurry

No reason to worry."

This is Bill Felker with Poor Will’s Almanack. I’ll be back again next week with notes for the second week of early summer. In the meantime, remember, even though it may not be true:

"Nothing to do

Nowhere to go

No reason to hurry

No reason to worry."

Or maybe we could make it true, at least for a short while...

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Bill Felker has been writing nature columns and almanacs for regional and national publications since 1984. His Poor Will’s Almanack has appeared as an annual publication since 2003. His organization of weather patterns and phenology (what happens when in nature) offers a unique structure for understanding the repeating rhythms of the year.